Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

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tehabe
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Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by tehabe »

I found an old document which was created with FreeHand 9 on Mac OS a very long time ago. The file is on an Zip drive image which is FAT formated. My idea was to use an emulation to convert the docoument so that I can preserve it. My host is a MacBook Air (M1, 2020) with macOS 14.

My first attempt was with UTM/Qemu, I got Mac OS 9.2 running and FreeHand 10 installed. Was able to mount the image and copy the files to the desktop and open the document, it ask me where all those pictures were but that was not a problem. The Mac OS 9.2 version I used even included the Gil Sans typeface so I didn't need the one included on the Zip drive image. In the end I failed because I couldn't move the files I created to my macOS host. The Zip drive image could only be used as read only. Everything lead to error message, which I failed to preserve.

My second attempt was SheepShaver. I got Mac OS 9.0.4 running with the help of the tutorial I found here. (Thank you very much for this tutorial.) But I couldn't get the Zip drive image to mount in the first place. I could freely exchange files between host and guest, so I copied the files into the shared folder, which broke the resource forks. Mac OS 9.0.4 didn't include Gil Sans and I couldn't use the ones on the image because the resource fork broke.

So, either I'm doing something completely wrong or it is not really possible what I want to achieve. I would be happy for any advice. Also while Affinity Designer can import FreeHand 10 files, it is not very good at it. So I might have to find another solution for that also.

P.S. FreeHand also complained that Limer XB wasn't available, but I can't find anything about it. I hope it isn't important.
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Ronald P. Regensburg
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by Ronald P. Regensburg »

The Zip drive image being FAT formatted is probably the issue.

SheepShaver can only mount HFS and HFS+ formatted images. Your host macOS cannot mount HFS images, but it can mount HFS+ images. The files copied to the shared folder on the host from the Zip image mounted on the host will loose their resource forks.

Apparently files could be read from the Zip image in Qemu/macOS 9.2 with resource forks preserved.
In the end I failed because I couldn't move the files I created to my macOS host. The Zip drive image could only be used as read only.
Did you try a HFS+ (Mac OS Extended) formatted disk image to move the files from guest to host? It should be readable and writeable in both MacOS 9.2 and macOS 14.
(Do not have the image file mounted in guest and host at the same time.)
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tehabe
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by tehabe »

I tried that, put it as removable disk image in the config but all I got was an error message:
QEMU error: QEMU exited from an error: qemu-ppc-softmmu: -drive if=none,media=disk,id=driveFCBDC624-7191-44DB-B78A-2FD71B71364B,file=/Users/thomas/Downloads/hfs.dmg,discard=unmap,detect-zeroes=unmap: Failed to lock byte 100
I finally tried another way, to use FTP via my NAS. Surprisingly it worked but only via anonymous account which I could limit to one folder on my NAS. Sadly my plan failed anyway, I was not able to create a version of the document I could use on my modern macOS. PDF export crashed. The FreeHand 10 or MX files could be read but were essentially empty, all pictures and text were gone. I guess this 20 years old document won't coming back.

But it was fun to try. I came to the Mac in 2003 and my iBook had Mac OS X 10.2 installed and I could boot into Mac OS 9.2 if I wanted and I did it once. So it was an interesting adventure.
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by emendelson »

You might want to post the zip image on a download site for other people to try. This is the kind of problem that interests some of the forum members here.

I have a G3 PowerBook running 9.22 and I have a ZIP drive that it can use, but it's in another city, and I won't be able to experiment with it until September. Maybe someone else here can help? Or you might ask at the MacOS9Lives forum:

https://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by adespoton »

Instead of using Freehand's PDF export, I'd recommend using the Print2PDF Chooser extension from within 9.2.

For getting the file out, you can now select a shared folder in QEMU and have it mount on the 9.2 Finder desktop, just like SheepShaver. So once you've generated the PDF, you can just copy it to the host via the shared volume.
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by tehabe »

Since the event for which is was made was like 20 years ago, I don't think it an issue to share the image: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/3qcpf5x7 ... ur03b&dl=0

I tried this extension PrintToPDF, it worked opening the file in Acrobat Reader 4 on Mac OS 9 but failed in Preview on macOS and PDF Expert.
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by emendelson »

tehabe wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 9:22 am Since the event for which is was made was like 20 years ago, I don't think it an issue to share the image: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/3qcpf5x7 ... ur03b&dl=0

I tried this extension PrintToPDF, it worked opening the file in Acrobat Reader 4 on Mac OS 9 but failed in Preview on macOS and PDF Expert.
Do you mean: "The PDF file produced by PrintToPDF did not open in Preview in macOS, etc.?" If so, please post the PDF here.
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by tehabe »

emendelson wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 1:35 pm Do you mean: "The PDF file produced by PrintToPDF did not open in Preview in macOS, etc.?" If so, please post the PDF here.
Yes. https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/vz5b4oyg ... apq33&dl=0
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by mabam »

You could try printing to a PS file in Mac OS 9 (best use an Acrobat PPD to create the appropriate printer first), transfer the file to your macOS host and open it there. It should be converted to PDF by Preview and then open fine in Acrobat, too.
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by emendelson »

tehabe wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 5:06 pm
emendelson wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 1:35 pm Do you mean: "The PDF file produced by PrintToPDF did not open in Preview in macOS, etc.?" If so, please post the PDF here.
Yes. https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/vz5b4oyg ... apq33&dl=0
That document opens as a blank two pages in Acrobat Reader 3 in System 7.6.1 in Basilisk II and also as blank in Acrobat Reader 4 under Mac OS 9.0.4 in SheepShaver. Could you try opening it again in your 9.0.4 system, confirming that it's visible, and then posting it again?
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by Cat_7 »

It seems the image file can easily be mounted as a cdrom in Qemu:

-drive file="VCD Flyer Bahnkongress.img",format=raw,media=cdrom \

With all files intact. These can then moved to the hard disk.
When opening the freehand 9 file, point to the images folder. However, it seems the "Limer XB" font is also required. Might this be the Fox Lime Regular font? Or is the Gill Sans on the image used as substitute?
Nevertheless, the file can be exported to pdf from inside Freehand 9 with e.g. acrobat 4 compatibility (creates a 84Mb! pdf)

This pdf can be opened with e.g. Acrobat 5 on Mac OS 9.2. Whether it looks like it should, I can´t tell.

Both Freehand and Acrobat need considerable amounts of memory set above the default to export and open the pdf.

The resulting pdf can be read on my linux host with document viewer. But it takes some time before the file is fully opened ;-)

Here is the file: https://surfdrive.surf.nl/files/index.p ... b/download
EDIT: I took the file down.

Best,
Cat_7
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Ronald P. Regensburg
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by Ronald P. Regensburg »

mabam wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 11:51 pm You could try printing to a PS file in Mac OS 9 (best use an Acrobat PPD to create the appropriate printer first), transfer the file to your macOS host and open it there. It should be converted to PDF by Preview and then open fine in Acrobat, too.
I think already in macOS Ventura but certainly in Sonoma, Preview no longer supports PostScript (.ps) and Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) files. For converting .ps to .pdf you will need third party software (or an online service like https://online2pdf.com/convert-ps-to-pdf ).
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by emendelson »

Ronald P. Regensburg wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 7:49 am
mabam wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 11:51 pm You could try printing to a PS file in Mac OS 9 (best use an Acrobat PPD to create the appropriate printer first), transfer the file to your macOS host and open it there. It should be converted to PDF by Preview and then open fine in Acrobat, too.
I think already in macOS Ventura but certainly in Sonoma, Preview no longer supports PostScript (.ps) and Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) files. For converting .ps to .pdf you will need third party software (or an online service like https://online2pdf.com/convert-ps-to-pdf ).
And one third-party solution is here:

https://mendelson.org/postscripttopdf.html

Also, Cat_7, that was superb problem-solving. I tried opening the disk image with Toast 4 under Mac OS 9, but couldn't make it work. Do you think this might be possible if I knew what I was doing?

Also, about that Limer XB font - possibly XB means Extra Bold? But I can't find anything more specific.
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by tehabe »

The font is really a weird issue, if you search it on Google (with quotes), this discussion is one of two results.

I was able to mount the image as CD drive in QEMU, my issue was not gettings anything off QEMU. Now I'm using my NAS as FTP server with Anarchy. Works fine so far. The image was created from a Zip drive using ddrescue.

I will try the Postscript extension. For converting Postscript to PDF you can simply use Ghostscript.

I think I will create my own Mac OS 9 in QEMU instead of using the one from the UTM gallery. My next project is to rescue all those enhanced CD because they mostly use HFS Standard.
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by emendelson »

Someone on Reddit suggested that the font might be Limerick, and my guess is that it is Limerick Extra Bold:

https://www.azfonts.net/fonts/limerick/extrabold-144860

This fits the look of the rest of the image, and you might try installing an old version it in your OS 9 system to see what happens when you print the PDF. It's possible that you'll need to edit the font itself to change the name to LImer XB.
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by Cat_7 »

Do you think this might be possible if I knew what I was doing?
I dabbled around a bit. As it was a disk image, I first tried to mount it as hard disk but that failed, then as cdrom, which worked. I never looked at the file content to see what format it was in.
So less excellence, more luck.

Best,
Cat_7
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by emendelson »

Cat_7 wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 3:51 pm
Do you think this might be possible if I knew what I was doing?
I dabbled around a bit. As it was a disk image, I first tried to mount it as hard disk but that failed, then as cdrom, which worked. I never looked at the file content to see what format it was in.
So less excellence, more luck.

Best,
Cat_7
No luck with Toast so far, but I think Toast may not be working correctly and I'll get back to it later.
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by emendelson »

And here's an old version of the font that I edited in a font editor to name it Limer XB:

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/67luzzol ... m6zl2&dl=1

When I installed it in Mac OS 9, the large number "2" appeared in the PDF correctly, but nothing else.
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by mabam »

Ronald P. Regensburg wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 7:49 am
mabam wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2024 11:51 pm You could try printing to a PS file in Mac OS 9 (best use an Acrobat PPD to create the appropriate printer first), transfer the file to your macOS host and open it there. It should be converted to PDF by Preview and then open fine in Acrobat, too.
I think already in macOS Ventura but certainly in Sonoma, Preview no longer supports PostScript (.ps) and Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) files. For converting .ps to .pdf you will need third party software (or an online service like https://online2pdf.com/convert-ps-to-pdf ).
Ah, good to know. I didn’t try to use the feature in quite a while.

emendelson wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 3:36 pm Someone on Reddit suggested that the font might be Limerick, and my guess is that it is Limerick Extra Bold:

https://www.azfonts.net/fonts/limerick/extrabold-144860

This fits the look of the rest of the image, and you might try installing an old version it in your OS 9 system to see what happens when you print the PDF. It's possible that you'll need to edit the font itself to change the name to LImer XB.

Under that link it says that the font was published by Altsys Corporation. FreeHand (I think before version 3?) was from Altsys too. So possibly the font came bundled with FreeHand.

I think it was either FreeHand 5 or 7 when, by that time Macromedia, began bundling fonts on a separate CD with the software.
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by emendelson »

I don't see the Limerick font in either Freehand 5 or Freehand 8, but it could have come from almost anywhere. Odd that the old TrueType fonts seem to be hard to find now.
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by adespoton »

emendelson wrote: Sun Jul 07, 2024 11:24 pm I don't see the Limerick font in either Freehand 5 or Freehand 8, but it could have come from almost anywhere. Odd that the old TrueType fonts seem to be hard to find now.
There are some pretty massive collections of those old TrueType fonts in various archives. If we can get the font ID from the original document, it should be possible to locate.

However, I'd suggest that LImer XB looks like a Postscript Type 1 font, not a TrueType font. Those fonts I've always struggled to find; moreso than others, since I've focused on TrueType fonts myself since the spec was first released.
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Re: Trying emulation to open an old FreeHand 9 document

Post by emendelson »

adespoton wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:10 pm However, I'd suggest that LImer XB looks like a Postscript Type 1 font, not a TrueType font. Those fonts I've always struggled to find; moreso than others, since I've focused on TrueType fonts myself since the spec was first released.
Open the PDF in Acrobat and look at the Font tab in the properties. It says that the original LImerXB was a TrueType font. I made a screen shot that shows (in contrast) that Gill Sans in the original file was a PostScript font:

Image
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